Thursday, April 30, 2015

More New Arrivals!

Two more lambs have arrived. Both little ewes thank goodness! One is going to be a solid moorit and one a moorit gray. If their mom holds true they will both be polled as she only puts horns on her ram lambs.
This cutie was the one born earlier and finally was ready for her photo debut!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

An Interrupted day

What was supposed to be a day of yard work and more spring clean-up became a day of madness. Mid morning I was raking up fallen limbs and debris out of the flower beds when I heard Tucker our 11 year old English setter frantically barking at the barn. I wandered down thinking he had a cat cornered. Nope. There was a coon laying in a stall face down in a nest of eggs gasping for breath. I quick grabbed all dogs and headed to the house. Once everyone was locked up, I checked him over and found no signs of a confrontation. I went back to the barn and with a pitchfork moved the coon and found no evidence on it either. That done, I made a call to the vet. She wanted Tucker and Ludovic there in 2 hours for booster rabies vaccines. Ziva had her's last week and was good. In the meantime, Doug came in and shot the coon.
I arrived to the vet and after weighing Tucker discovered he had gained 10 pounds and for the last year I had been under dosing him for heart worms. Oh yay. So in addition to getting his booster I had him tested. He was negative thank goodness. Just an added expense.
Now came all the questions. Did you touch Tucker after coming up from the barn? Yes. Cuts. No. Touch the coon, no, but Doug picked him up by the tail. On and on they went.
On the way home I called animal control. They met me at the barn and picked up the coon. More questions. By this time it was 4 and I still had chores to do. We should have the results in a couple of days. Earlier this week a few miles down the road a coon tested positive so we shall see.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Planting Blueberries

The blueberries finally got in the ground today. I have to confess Doug and some of his guys planted most of them. I had to work and arrived only to help plant the last 8 or so. I did help rake down the dirt and mulch with a bit of straw to help conserve moisture. Since we don't have a well on that side of the property we we'll have to haul a large 200 gallon water tank over every few days until they are established. This Fall the pine needles should fall from the surrounding trees and finish mulching the patch quite nicely.

Monday, April 27, 2015

It was a busy planting day here on the homestead. It started with the grape vines- 5 Thompson seedless.
Then it was onto the herbs. Some from the greenhouse, others from the local nursery. Several had to be replaced because of the cold winter. New oregano, german and lemon thyme and another rosemary plant went into the herb garden.
Lastly, several clumps of Lily of the Valley that sis had gifted to me were tucked in the woods among the daffodils planted last fall. Next Spring this should be a beautiful combination.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Maybe Baby Turkeys?

For the first time in her laying life, Mrs. Blue Slate Turkey has found a safe place to make a nest. In previous years she has picked low spots where torrential rains have washed her nest and eggs away. I hope we may finally get some hatched babies, though since I have yet to catch her off nest I don't know how many eggs she is setting on.
Proud papa is standing by.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Full Freezers

I made the trip back to Mayes Meats today to pick up the lambs and Kune Kune pig we had butchered. Over 100 pounds of lamb and almost 50 pounds of pork are now residing in our freezers. We were extremely pleased with the pig. Almost completely raised on pasture with a few table scraps, acorns and an occasional handful of alfalfa, the end product was lean and delicious. We a very excited to get our first litter here and be able to offer some for sale.
In addition to the meat, I have over 30 pounds of lambs bones to cook up into a rich stock and about 10 pounds of pig fat to render into lard!  

Thursday, April 23, 2015

More Baby Chicks

The next generation of laying hens arrived today. Mostly black sexlinks with a few araucanas thrown in the mix. My plan is to rotate breeds every year or even every other year so I know which to cull. Right now I have a mish-mosh of various breeds and ages. As soon as these ladies start laying I have someone to take all of the old birds. Since the sexlinks are black maybe the next round will be golden comets or rhode island reds. Such a simple light bulb moment! ;-))

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Lamb #4

A single ewe lamb born today to a yearling ewe. A lovely black badger. Mom not into photos today so a long shot. Close ups soon!

Monday, April 20, 2015

We were up early to haul lambs and our first Kune Kune pig to be butchered. Though we have a plant 20 minutes away I was not pleased with them last year when lambs were processed. So we make the hour long trek to Taylorsville and Mayes Meats. My only issue with them is that they NEVER get in a hurry. We wait to unload. We wait to fill out cutting sheets. I am sure I will have to wait when I pick them up too. There will be lamb available in two weeks for those interested.

It was nice to see some sunshine again after yesterday's torrential rain. But with the sun came afternoon thunderstorms and some areas were hit hard with large hail. I had the news on when they broke in to warn that it was headed our way within 30 minutes. I flew outside and moved all of the blueberries and blackberries undercover. I did not want to take any chances of loosing the fruit that is starting to set. Our current patch was hit hard by the last cold snap and I think we will only get half of what was to be an awesome harvest. The potted flowers were drug to safety too. Panting and exhausted I hurried back inside just as the thunder started rolling. We were lucky, only some pea size hail and no damage done. I guess tomorrow I will move all of those plants back out from under the shed!

Sunday, April 19, 2015


Well lambing has begun and it has started off with a bang! A set of triplets born yesterday. A solid black ram, black and white spotted ram and a black badger ewe. Mom is doing a great job of taking care of all 3,

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Wet Week

Well rain it did this week. 4 inches were captured in the rain gage. With the first day of sunshine in 8 days it was a busy day of catching up.
First on the list was to move the meat birds to the tractor. Can you spot a dutch shepherd puppy looking on?
Next a quick perusal of the garden to check on veggie status. Potatoes are up. Yay! I was a bit worried that they may have rotted.
Lastly mowing. Doug and I tag teamed the yard that was closely resembling the hay field and got it under control.
Neat and tidy, I am so ready for a few sunny days!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

More Strawberries

The last 25 Evie 2 strawberry plants that had been back ordered arrived Friday. I have kept them wrapped in moist paper and today they finally went in the ground.
We had some windy days this week so after planting them I went back and where we had just made slits in the plastic I made larger holes, The wind had blown the plastic back over top of some of the previously planted berry plants and the heat had burned them pretty badly. Lesson learned, sigh.
But still, there 101 plants in the row. Some are beginning to bloom. Looking good!
The upcoming week looks to be very wet so I raided the greenhouse of peppers and early tomatoes. 39 various peppers and 8 tomatoes went in along with a couple of hills of squash which were planted by seed. Things should settle in nicely this week.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Blueberries Have Arrived!

Early this morning my oldest son, Jason, and I hooked up to the horse trailer and headed towards the mountains. We were headed to pick up blueberry bushes. And pickup we did. They did not have the full 50 but I still came home with 40. Among the varieties- Premier, Power blue, Legacy, Climax and Teff blue, of which I had wanted more. They will order those for me if I decide to make another trip after these go in. I also came home with a pink variety, only 3 of those though. Just thought they sounded kind of cool. The one called Legacy bears the latest and we were told they were picking berries at frost last fall. These bushes are all loaded with blooms too. 
Of course since I didn't get all 50 bushes that left room on the trailer. I added 5 huge thornless blackberry bushes. I had 10 in the greenhouse but they are so small. These should produce a good little harvest this year.
Gonna be a busy week here on the homestead!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Spring Shearing

Earlier this week I got an email from our shearers. We have had a hard time coordinating a time. They wanted to come tonight between 6 and 7. I knew it would be a late night but we had some hot days this week and the sheep need it badly. Thankfully, they arrived closer to 6. We finished up right at 9. Everyone was tired and dirty but that was a huge chore marked off the list.
The sheep are definitely more comfortable!  A yearling ewe in front. The unshorn rams in the background are slated for freezer camp in a couple of weeks.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Welcome Ludovic

Meet the newest addition to our "homestead security" team! Ludovic is a 9 week old dutch shepherd. He is a very handsome fellow, we think
He loves Ziva and thinks she would be great fun to play with.
I think she feels the same!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Sis and I made a trip to Lowes's today. She needed some mulch and I needed soaker hoses for the strawberries.Well, she got mulch...only because it was in the garden center! We got totally sidetracked with a cart of 1.00 plants! I am not sure the reason they had been discounted so deeply because they looked perfectly fine. So we loaded the truck with geraniums, purple wave petunias and gerber daisies. I added a few red geraniums that were regular price and some blue daze plants. Pots are now overflowing with color!

Halfway home I remembered I had not gotten the hoses. Want to go back? sis asked. Nah, it's supposed to rain. Next trip, front door and list!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Early Corn and Green Beans

We don't normally plant corn this early but decided to give it a go this year. Doug has been itching to try it and so when we got in from work today he planted 3 rows. It will be awesome if Mother Nature will cooperate and the corn makes! Taking another chance we also planted a row of green beans.
Our last frost date is not until April 15 so we'll see what happens.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Busy Wednesday

Monday's rain put us way behind on the week's chores. So, today we crammed two days worth of work into one!
It started with early morning baking and delivering some special order breads and back home by 9:30. We have a new farm intern and she arrived as I pulled back in the drive.
The rest of the day began.
First on the list was to make a lavender soap for my future daughter-in-law (yes, Luke is engaged!) that she wanted to give as favors to her bride's maids.
Lavender essential oil, ground lavender buds and a purple swirl, it turned out quite lovely!
Then we were off to the barn to feed and water the meat birds and fill water buckets. Next on the list was planting the potatoes that were supposed to go in on Monday. We lacked enough potatoes to finish about 20 feet of the 3rd 100 foot row. I will pick up a few more next trip to the feed store. A quick stop for lunch and then we headed to the greenhouse to get the strawberry plants. Black plastic was rolled out and holes cut to tuck each plant in. 75 planted today, we are still waiting for the other 25 to ship.
Even when those arrive I think there is still room for probably another 25 or so and I may try to find enough to finish out the row. Sis weeded the garlic and we called it a good garden day!
After our intern left, it was time for afternoon barn chores and I still had to snap a few pics to finish up the newly revised website that should be back up and running very soon!

A great day on the homestead!